Many today doubt that there is life after death. They say that our hope of heaven is merely the projection of our desires. But the Lord Jesus Christ removed all doubt when He said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live” (John 11:25).
On the night of His betrayal, in the Upper Room, Jesus was with His disciples but was about to be removed from their midst, and they were anxious. Jesus offered comfort for their troubled hearts. “Let not your heart be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:1-2). In other words, if heaven were a false hope to which the disciples were clinging, Jesus would have corrected their error. But instead, He promises everyone who believes in Him, a place in His Father’s house is prepared.
In 1 John 3:1-3, John states that we do not know yet what we are going to be in heaven, but one thing we do know is that we will be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. We serve a Master who is invisible to us. Yet we are promised that someday we shall see Him. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8). The reason we cannot see God has nothing to do with our eyes. It has to do with our hearts. Yet when we enter into glory and receive the fullness of our sanctification, the barrier to a direct and immediate perception of God will be removed.
THE NATURE OF HEAVEN
In Revelation 21, the Apostle John receives a vision of a new heaven and a new earth. “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth has passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (vv.1-4).
As John continues his description, we are told of streets of gold that is so fine and pure that it is translucent. We are told of gates constructed of magnificent pearls and a foundation adorned with precious jewels (vv.18-21). We are told that there will be no temple, sun, or moon (vv.22-23). The radiance of the glory of God and of the Lamb will illumine the whole city, and there will never he night because the glowing, brilliant, radiant glory of God never stops.
[Adapted from R.C. Sproul, Everyone’s a Theologian]